Parenting Guru: 5 Places I want my kids to see

I'm guilty. We've never taken the time to embark on the great American adventures I always envisioned for my family. I'm beginning to realize that time is passing much too quickly and it's time to start planning and experiencing all our great nation has to offer!

In a perfect world my kids would have the opportunity to experience everything from sea to shining sea, but my top 5 American destinations go a little something like this:

A Broadway show, like on Broadway. Theater was a big part of my life growing up and I've always wanted to expose my children to the performing arts. Since my toddler is literally incapable of sitting still for more than 5 minutes at a time, I'm thinking local children's theater might be the way to introduce them to the magic of performing arts (at least for now). One thing I know for sure, we will find our way to the twinkling lights of Broadway!

Central Park. There is something truly unbelievable about this ginormous urban park located in the heart of Manhattan, NY. Central Park is a pocket of beauty, serenity, fun and magic among the hustle and bustle of downtown. Almost anything you can imagine can be found in Central Park: a zoo, carriage rides, ice skating, bird watching, specialty gardens, theater, concerts and dining. With 250 acres of lawns, 150 acres of lakes and streams, 130 acres of woodlands, 26 ball fields and 21 playgrounds; Central Park is an experience to remember. You better believe we'll be hitting up Central Park the day we catch our Broadway show!

Washington, D.C. I happen to believe D.C. is an amazing trip for children, particularly tweens. I made my first trip to D.C. at 13 years old as a teen obsessed with NKOTB. I had little, scratch that, no interest in U.S. history whatsoever - until I saw it firsthand. No one can describe the sense of American pride that washes over you while visiting the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and the U.S. Capitol building. My memories of my first trip to D.C. have stayed with me well into adulthood and I can't wait to experience the pride again with my own kids.

Snow. I know this probably sounds utterly ridiculous to those of you who braved snowmageddon this year but my husband and children have never actually seen snow. In fact, I've only seen it once - I think I was 9. I want our family to experience the fun of feeling frozen to the bone while making a snowman, having a snowball fight and sledding. I'm dreaming of a winter wonderland!

Yosemite National Park. Is there anything more beautiful than the "Temple of nature" as it is known? With granite mountains, breathtaking waterfalls and giant sequoias, this destination is bound to be the most majestic and inspiring family vacation imaginable. While I'm quite sure my youngest will be busy searching for Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, I just know my family will all enjoy the natural beauty and wonder Yosemite can offer.

Do you have any great American adventures planned this summer?


Mommyfriend goes by Lori Garcia in real life and is a Shine Parenting Guru. She writes at www.mommyfriend.com where she's busy finding perfection in imperfection daily. When she's not watching infomercials she's a Featured Lifestyle Contributor for Yahoo! Contributor Network.

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